Friday, 9 November 2012
Need some help to start planning your outdoor play experiences for the children in your day home? Click on "outdoor play" below to enter a website featuring some great outdoor play ideas:
Monday, 22 October 2012
Are the seeds scattered randomly within a pumpkin or arranged in some sort of pattern?
Do BIG pumpkins have larger seeds than smaller pumpkins?
Is there anything in a pumpkin which lines up with the creases on the outside?
What does a pumpkin weigh?
How much does a pumpkin seed weigh?
How many seeds does a pumpkin contain?
Do all pumpkins have the same number of seeds?
Can you tell which side of the pumpkin was against the ground? How? Does the stem help you figure it out?
Will pumpkins float in water? If they do, will they float stem up, stem down, or stem sideways?
Can pumpkin seeds be sorted into groups?
How thick is the skin of a pumpkin?
Do birds eat pumpkin seeds?
Will pumpkin seeds grow if planted right away?
What stories can you find about pumpkins?
Where did pumpkins come from originally?
What other plants do we eat that are related to pumpkins?
Make a book to record your questions and answers!
Saturday, 13 October 2012
Open the top of the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds. Let the children help!
Cut a good sized square, circle, rectangle, heart, and triangle out of the pumpkin. Allow the children to find the correct hole to put their piece back into the pumpkin!
Wednesday, 10 October 2012
Make your sand interesting by adding foam pumpkins or metallic confetti pumpkins. The children can hunt for the pumpkins by digging with shovels, using sifters, and funnels. Give them magnifying glasses to look closely at the pumpkins.
Make it a math activity by counting the pumpkins. You could also tape a number strip to the floor or table so the children can place a pumpkin on each number to help with counting.
Look at the dollar stores to find more items to add every two days. Spider rings, fingernails, silk leaves, skeletons/skulls, black and orange pom-poms, or nuts in a shell.
Spooky Halloween Sand Table:
You could put your sand table in a darker area and add Halloween lights above or give the children small flashlights or lights that strap onto their head and shine down where they are digging in the sand. Flashlights will work better in a darker area. Add glow in the dark skeleton bones, plastic spiders to the sand, rubber snakes.
Saturday, 6 October 2012
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 12 ounce can evaporated milk
1/2 cup pumpkin
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
raisins or chocolate chips to decorate the face
Combine pancake mix, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Add milk, pumpkin, vegetable oil, vanilla, and eggs. Blend together until smooth. Fry on griddle or skillet. Then have kids decorate with raisins or chocolate chips to make a jack-o-lantern face! Try other food items to make faces too.
Thursday, 4 October 2012
POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR STRATEGIES:
Monday, 14 May 2012
Click on the following youtube link to watch Scrapstore Playpods in which children use their creativity to explore the open-ended items provided:
Scrapstore Playpods in Action
Consider adding some of these items to your outdoor play area to make outdoor time creative and fun.
The Show - this is the easy part. Just hang the clothesline between two trees or porch posts (have a backup place indoors in case of rain). Get the snacks ready. Hang your art work with the clothespins. When the guests arrive, serve the snacks, and bask in the talent of the day home artists!
High Space/Low Space
Tuesday, 8 May 2012
We understand as providers that this is the expectation, but sometimes it is nice to read something that clearly explains the benefits of outdoor play.
- Stronger bones and lower cancer risk: Today's "indoor kids" don't get enough sun and are becoming Vitamin D deficient, causing health risks.
- Trimmer and more healthy children: An hour of play a day is what doctors say is a basic tool in the effort to ward off childhood obesity and diabetes.
- Improved eyesight: Recent studies find that children who get outdoor time have less nearsightedness and need for eye glasses.
- Less depression and hyperactivity: Outdoor time in natural settings (even tree-lined streets) soothes kids and lowers their need for medications.
- Longer attention spans:Children who stare at TV and video games all day have less patience and shorter attention spans.
- Better at making friends: Children playing together outdoors relate directly with one another, create games together, choose sides and improve their "people" skills.
- More creative: Outdoor kids are more likely to use their own imaginations, inventions and creativity while playing.
- Less "acting out" at home and school: Getting children away from TV violence and video games helps them see that violent behavior does not always solve problems.
- Measurably better grades in school: The healthy bodies and minds that come with outdoor play are better able to do well in school.
- A longer lifespan and healthier adult life: Doctors estimate that sedentary and obese children lose three to five years from their life expectancy.
(Adapted from: "Parents: 10 Reasons kids need fresh air" by Kevin Coyle www.nwf.org)
So what are you waiting for? Grab your shoes, hats, and sunscreen and head outside - it will do you AND the children good!
Friday, 27 April 2012
Add uncooked white rice. Mix for about 30 seconds.
Spoon rice out of liquid.
Place rice on a piece of paper towel to dry. Takes a couple of hours to dry completely when spread out thin.
Mix more colors.
red + blue = purple
blue + yellow= green
red + yellow = orange
Monday, 16 April 2012
The most important thing to remember is to label your containers - this helps at clean up time. You can purchase plastic luggage tags and slide a piece of paper inside to label bins. There are also many different types of labels available - some can even be written on with chalk and then erased if you change what's in the container. Make sure whatever type of label you do choose will work indoors and outdoors, depending on where your storage is.
Tuesday, 10 April 2012
Monday, 2 April 2012
"The following article will guide you through the routine process, explaining what a routine is, when a routine might be useful in your life, and finally how to build one yourself. My hope is that you will find comfort in knowing that many parents and families go through struggles and there is a way to help your children gain independence and structure without losing your mind.
The “Super Nanny” Jo Frost says, “A routine provides a clear structure for daily life.” (p.44) When you think about all of the things you have to get done during the day, it can be very overwhelming. As a parent you have to get all of that stuff done, but with your children following close behind. This is when having a plan of action can help.
If you know that the kids have to be dressed and ready to go by 8 am, your plan starts when they wake up. How can you structure the time so that it is logical and orderly for everyone involved? Maybe it would look like this: Wake the kids at 7 am and bring them to the table where they will eat. After breakfast it’s time to clean up. Bring the kids to the bathroom to wash their hands and face, brush teeth, and get dressed. Once they are clean and dressed, it’s time for shoes and out the door.
If this is what you do every morning then your kids understand what is going to be happening and they can feel safe. According to the article Routines to the Rescue, Parents Magazine, 1999, “Routines give kids a sense of control. When kids can anticipate what’s going to happen, it makes them feel safe and builds a sense of trust in their parents and their environment.”
You might think this is going to be too hard. Let’s look at what the experts say. According to a workshop from 4-C entitled Everyday Magic:
We should stop once in awhile and put ourselves in their shoes to see if what we are asking them makes sense within the time and limits of their abilities. We have high expectations for our children, and we need to make sure that the expectation makes sense so as to provide learning. “The easiest way for children to learn is through repetition. Consistent routines teach children how to do necessary things like eating, bathing, tooth brushing, etc.” (Everyday Magic)
Jo Frost has provided her readers with this advice, “Routines build consistency into family life. You also need an agreed upon a set of rules. Before you can insist on certain standards of behavior from your child, you have to decide what is acceptable and what is not. Then you have to stick to your guns. If you’re always bending the rules and moving the goalposts, your child won’t have the first clue of what he should be doing and won’t take you seriously.”(p.47)
This brings us to actually building a routine. Have a plan for what you want accomplished and talk it over with your children if they are old enough. Giving them some control over how they will be moving through their day will provide them with an opportunity to be an active participant in the routine itself. “Routines should be respectful. Tell the child what you are going to do before you do it. Treat them as respectfully as you would an adult.” Elaine Goodwin also says, “Give children a warning. About ten minutes before you need them to do the routine, let them know. This prepares the children for what is coming to give them time to wrap-up what they are doing.” Then you have to guide them through it especially at first so they understand the expectations.
Jo Frost says, “You’re talking through their day. But what you are not doing is offering them lots of choices.” Examples, “Let’s put on your shoes,” not, “Will you put on your shoes?” “When you have put on your shoes we can go to the park,” not, “If you put on your shoes, you can go to the park.” “The difference in the way you say things may be very subtle, but the difference in the results are not.” (p.50) Stick with the routine and have fun at the same time says Elaine Goodwin. “Make your routines fun! Your child has to eat and sleep anyway, why not use this time to teach your child and bond with them. You will find that doing so not only improves the child’s behavior during these necessary routines, but also helps them to feel better prepared for life.”
Some children are going to be able to pick up on the routines right away and others will need time and consistency. If you are finding that the routine is harder than it was before, maybe your child could use a visual reminder of the routine. Children think in pictures instead of words, and if you are getting frustrated saying the same thing over and over let the routine chart be your guide. “Visual cues are great because kids learn to tune out verbal instruction,” says Dr. Abrams. “With a chart, there’s less emotion, because it’s harder to argue with an inanimate object.” (Parents 2008)
A chart should be simple and organized so the children can follow it. Have the kids help to create it to include them in the process. You can use simple drawing, pictures from magazines, or take digital pictures of the kids doing the routine themselves. Then when they ask, “What’s next?” you can say, “Look at the chart.” Just remember, you can build a routine for any time of the day: mealtime, bedtime, hand washing, teeth brushing, bath time, clean up, dressing and undressing, etc. Just work on one at a time and watch your life go from absolutely crazy to only slightly crazy."
Memon, Reshma, You make Me Want to Shout, Parents, December 2008
Frost, Jo, How to Get The Best From Your Children, Hyperion,
Miller Kase, Lori, Routines to the Rescue, Parents, February 1999
Goodwin, Elaine, Why should I have a Routine for my Child,4-C Parent Educator,
Unknown Routines: Everyday Magic,4-C ,
Monday, 26 March 2012
Tuesday, 24 January 2012
Think instead of using the inappropriate behaviour as a teaching opportunity to teach a child a new behaviour through discussion. Show the child what they should do when this problem arises. Maybe they should use words to tell another child they are playing with that toy, rather than grab it back. Teach the words to say. Adjust the level of language to the child's age and development.
Children need to know that they have your support to get through these situations and will help with the other child who also needs to be taught how to ask, or wait for a turn. You may have to explain to an older child that a younger child does not know he/she must wait for a turn and has to learn this. Teach how to compromise and give a younger child a few blocks of his own so he won't take yours.
Model staying calm and in control for children. Let them know you are there to listen, and help. This calms a child substantially to know you will be there.
Of course, you will still have screaming red faced crying children who flail themselves about and aggressively attack others. At this time, you will need more patience and will have to dig deeper to stay calm. Give the child some space to let it out. This is natural and anger has built to a point where it must come out. Stay quiet and do not upset the child further with insensitive comments. Let the child know he/she is still loved and hold the child when they come to you.
Find a way to solve the problem while the child is upset to distract yourself from anger. Please do not walk away or isolate a child in a room - there are many things wrong with this approach. Keep them close, in view, and touch them gently if they will allow it. The child is not intentionally trying to make you angry. It's all about their own emotion. Keep your emotions in check. When the child is ready, talk about feelings and name them, offer an alternative/compromise that is acceptable. You are still in charge of the situation, you are just recognizing that the child has something to learn. You are the child's teacher.
If you give in at this moment you must know that next time there will be a bigger tantrum. Think of this process not as a power struggle, but an opportunity to discuss and solve a problem that leaves you both feeling good. Chances are, the number of incidents will decrease when new skills to have needs/wants met are learned. It's a process that takes time.